The Reception: Wedding Cakes

On average, nationally, wedding cakes/desserts cost $451 and are expected to jump to $466 in 2014. This is a major difference from 2012 when $437 was the average. When you are talking about spending that much money it is important to know about what you are buying and why.

History of the Wedding Cake

The first wedding cakes have been traced back to the Roman Empire. However, they weren’t even actually cakes! They were loaves of barley bread. When the time came, the groom would break it over his bride’s head. Then the couple would take the crumbs together while the guests gathered up pieces for good luck. From barley loaves to small spice buns stacked high, the evolution of the wedding cake moved forward. It was believed that if the bride and groom were able to kiss over the stack of spice buns they would prosper. From there the bride pie took over. Inside this was a ring; the woman who found it would be the next to marry. This was then replaced by the bride’s cake (wedding cake).

Many other connections to the role of a wedding cake have also been made:

  1. The bride and groom must cut the first slice.
  2. All the guests must have at least a bite of cake to bless the couple with children.
  3. Eating of the cake beforehand could result in a loss of the other’s love.Wedding Cake - Copy

Groom’s Cake

Somewhere between the engagement and the honeymoon the groom may seem to be shelved. The groom’s cake is a tradition that has a long history of giving the man of the hour his time to shine.

The groom’s cake is normally made of dark chocolate and many contain fruit. The fruit dates back to when the tradition began; they were fruitcakes. It may appear however the groom chooses. It is popular for the cake to be decorated as a tux and bowtie, but  it’s also common to show the interests of the man as well. This cake is NOT normally served to the guests when the wedding cake is during the reception. However, it has a more important purpose. This dessert is eaten by the groomsmen, and the remaining pieces are pre-cut and packaged to send home with all the single women at your wedding. It has been said that if she is to sleep with it under her pillow, she will see her husband-to-be in a dream.Groom's Cake 2 - Copy

Cake Boss

Cake Boss is a TV show on TLC that follows a family bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. They are well-known for their work and make many exotic cakes. For fun ideas, this is a cool show to watch. If it’s convenient then maybe Buddy could even bake a cake for your wedding!Cake Boss

The Reception: Creative Activities for Non-Dancers

Traditionally receptions revolve around music and dancing, but what about those who don’t like to dance? There are many creative ways to entertain all kinds of guests. This post contains creative activities for any wedding reception.

Remember it is always important to consider who your guest are and what they would feel comfortable doing. Not all of the ideas provided will appeal to every type of reception. Go with your gut! If you think it would be fun then they probably will too; that’s why they love you!

Getting Them Involved

Wedding I Spy 3I Spy is a fun one that you can look back on after the reception is over. Place a card at each table with descriptions of events for your guests to take pictures of along with a URL to a site where they can upload. You can ask them to look for anything you can think of: the flower girl dancing, the oldest married couple, the best man embarrassing the groom, the bride talking with her new mother-in-law, or the maid of honor helping out. It is an inexpensive way of conserving your wedding day fun as well as getting the guests smiling!

 You don’t have to break your budget trying to please your guests. Sometimes it’s the little things that will make them feel the most excited about your reception. Including them in your decorations is a simple way to go, but also very effective. Your family and friends can look at the pictures and tell each other stories, reminiscing about the fun times they have shared with you.

Booklet 1 - CopyMessage Booklets are a fun way to get advice from your friends and family. Simply decorate your own little notebook or buy one. Then write a question for all the members of that table to answer. Your guests can share their booklets with other tables for the opportunity to answer more if they choose. The questions can be really anything you’d like. Be creative and have fun with it!

  • What’s your most cherished memory with the groom?
  • How did you first meet the bride?
  • What is the best advice for a long and happy marriage?
  • What was your favorite part of the wedding ceremony?

Guess WhoReinventing the game Guess Who to contain members of your wedding party or your reception guests (possibly two versions: bride’s side and groom’s side) is a creative way to personalize something most people already know how to do. For those you haven’t heard of Guess Who, it’s a game for two where each person draws a card containing a character. Then the two take turns asking each other questions like “Does your person have brown hair?” Eventually one of the players will figure out who their opponent drew; they are the winner. However, if the characters on the cards were their friends and family, they would be able to ask more entertaining questions!

Other Party Entertainment

Dessert TableSweets are always a good idea when entertaining, so consider arranging a dessert table. Guests of the bride and groom may not be close, but they can bond over delicious treats! It may seem like something odd to consider as entertainment, but think about when you spend time with friends. Are there not snacks or a run to Sonic/Dairy Queen/a grocery store? Food is a great ice breaker and an easy thing to provide in bulk.

PhotoboothPhotobooths are fun for being silly and having fun with those who love. You might think it would be too pricy to include at your reception, but maybe not. The idea of a photobooth is simple; all you have to do is recreate it. Pick a corner and hang some curtains, possibly that correspond to your wedding theme. Inside use a couple stools or any small seat you can get ahold of. Provide a camera with a timer feature, and your guests can have their own homemade photobooth experience!

If you feel like spending some money or you have an artistic friend or family member, hire an artist! They can set up an easel and sketch your guests. You could even have yourself drawn next to your groom/bride. This would be a fun keepsake for your guests to look back on.

Bag TossOversized Games are another fun activity for your reception. This can be anything you find fun: checkers, Jenga, bag toss, ring toss, you name it! Guests can bond while playing commonly known games with somewhat of a twist. Plus you can make them yourself which means they can be personalized to your wedding. Incorporating the colors of your wedding into these games becomes an easy way to decorate your reception area as well as entertaining friends and family.

The Reception: Dances for All to Enjoy

There are many dances involved with a wedding reception. When planning this party, it’s important to consider all your options. They don’t all have to be incorporated in this time, but they are all great ways to share a moment with your loved ones.

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First Dance - CopyFirst Dance

It’s traditionally expected to see the bride and groom share their first dance together as a married couple during the reception; when specifically they take the spotlight isn’t. Some choose to move directly to their first dance after being announced and others wait until after a cocktail hour. Timing aside, it’s important for the bride and groom to decide on a song that they would want to call “their song.”


Father Daughter Dance - CopyFather Daughter Dance

This is a sweet moment for the father of the bride and his daughter. After giving away his little girl at the altar, this man deserves a chance to share a moment with her. This dance can mean many things to many people because of how we all have very diverse families, so choosing a song may be difficult. It is a bittersweet moment and one that won’t be forgotten.


Mother Son DanceMother Son Dance - Copy

The father of the bride gets to express his love for his daughter during the wedding ceremony as he gives his bride away and during the reception as he shares a dance with her. What about the mother of the groom? The groom honors his mother during the reception by dancing with her to a song just for them. It can be just as emotional as the father daughter dance because of the relationship they share.

Anniversary DanceAnniversary Dance - Copy

This is a fun one for all married couples at the reception. The song isn’t really as important to this dance, but what happens during the song is what makes it special. It starts when DJ invites all the married couples to the dance floor. Then as the song goes along, he or she calls out numbers of years and couples leave when a year longer than their marriage is announced. At the end of the song only those who have been together the longest will still be dancing. It’s a sweet way to recognize relationships that have lasted the test of time.

Dollar DanceDollar Dance - Copy

This dance is a fun way to spend time with your guests and make some money doing it. It is very popular and has a long history dating back to European immigrants coming into America. History aside, this is how it works! First, the bride and groom enter the dance floor. Second, guests line up (males by the bride and females by the groom) to dance with the couple. However, this opportunity comes at a price, at least one dollar. The bride and groom can either collect the money in a purse or bag, or they can have the maid of honor and best man collect it for them. Each guest gets roughly 15-20 seconds with the bride or groom, normally a slow song is chosen for this. This dance can be a time consumer if you let it, so use it carefully!